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The Future of Coaching: What Do the Experts Say?

The Future of Coaching 5 Trends

Photo by Nacho Capelo on Unsplash

We often write about coaching and its benefits – the hows, the whos, the whats, ­– but we haven’t looked at coaching as an industry in a while, and we’re excited to share some of the trends and the future of coaching.

In an industry-wide study, Executive Coaching for Results surveyed nearly 1,000 respondents across industries, demographics, and roles to track the evolution and future of coaching. The survey focuses on the outcomes among different groups: organizational representatives, internal coaches, external coaches, and coachees. Their priorities were not always ranked the same, but overall, the trends show coaching is indeed on the rise.


Here are a few trends compiled by The International Coach Federation:


  1. Coaching will be more commonly integrated into leadership development programs or offered as an add-on

Across the groups surveyed, 86 to 89 percent of survey respondents reported this trend will be the most likely to continue to resonate and expand. This aligns with not only what we see in our leadership development work, but also makes a lot of sense. Coaching helps to take training out of the classroom into the day-to-day and encourages participants to focus on improvement and practice over time. It’s good practice to include hands-on application opportunities in tandem with theory-based knowledge and learning opportunities.


“The most likely #coaching trend to continue over the next 5 years? 86% of Executive Coaching for Results respondents agree: #leadership development programs paired with additional coaching.”

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  1. Leader-as-coach training builds a foundational skill

We love this trend! Becoming a better coach as a leader or manager is an emerging master skill. Teaching leaders and managers to coach helps expand their awareness of their own leadership philosophy, as well as promoting action and accountability on the teams they lead.


  1. Increase coaching opportunities for Millennial leaders

External coaches rated this trend slightly higher than internal coaches or practice managers, but it seems clear that there is a strong need for adding a coaching opportunity to the training mix for Millennials. If your Millennial employees crave a feedback-rich culture, then a greater focus on coaching opportunities might be just the ticket.


  1. Coaching is a priority, but what type should be the focus?

While the groups surveyed differed in where they would prioritize the coaching need – whether the focus should be on external, internal, executive, team, or other – it is clear that all surveyed would maintain or increase coaching opportunities as a trend over time. Organizational representatives reported the top trend they noted was an increase in executive coaching, whereas external coaches predicted team coaching would be the top trend.


  1. Streamline and centralize executive coaching under fewer vendors

This trend showed up in varying ranks among the groups surveyed, but as the #4 rank for organizational representatives, we took note. It can be difficult to show results when many disconnected coaches are working within an organization. By centralizing processes, coaching programs become more consistent, aligned to goals, and demonstrate impact over time.



Is coaching on the rise in your organization? If so, you are on trend. The study publishers, CoachSource, LLC, estimate that total industry spend on coaching approaches anywhere between $1 billion to $5 billion USD per year and has shown exponential rise as a business need and trend in the last 15-20 years.

In our practice, we’ve seen coaching not only increase in usage over time but increase in benefit over time as well. Integrating coaching into leadership development practices or management fundamentals is a great way to continue the learning after an event-based program and avoid the potential “one-and-done” pitfall that can derail a manager’s growth when they don’t get the support or practice they need after the initial training.


ICF, Executive Coaching 2022: Future Trends https://coachfederation.org/blog/21025-2
CoachSource, Executive Coaching for Results: http://www.coachsource.com/drupal7/research

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Lauren Parkhill

Lauren Parkhill leads the marketing team in creating creative content that helps organizations develop their leaders and teams.